Perseverance is the Key

 ImagePERSEVERANCE

The last 4 Saturdays I’ve been in training to learn how to assist and advocate for all types of victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and intimate partner violence. These classes were 8:30 to 5:30 every Saturday.

If anyone knows me, they know how much I love my Saturdays. It’s a time for me to eat a big breakfast and veg out on the couch. I take time to relax after a long week. So for me to get up early on a Saturday morning was the exact opposite of what I would prefer to do. I had to roll out the bed and drive half an hour and sit all day in training.

Some days were hard, as the topics discussed hit home like a ton of bricks. It reminded it of my past and caused me to reflect on memories I keep trying to forget.

But I know if this was my calling and my life, I had to keep going. And you know what, I persevered.

You can accomplish anything you desire but it takes perseverance and determination. You have to put your own feelings aside no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Yeah I had an attitude when the alarm went off on a Saturday morning but what was the alternative? Blow off the class, lounge around the house all day and never accomplish my goal? No, I don’t think so.

My motto is No Retreat, No Surrender. I won’t give up. Now is not the time to give up on your dreams. If they are important to you then you can’t let it go. You can do anything you set your mind to. No one is going to care about your dreams and goals more than you so if you give up, then what…

I encourage you to follow your dreams.

NO the path is not easy.
YES you will get discouraged.
BUT don’t give up.

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

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Encouraging ME in 2014!

Encouraging ME in 2014!

No More Resolutions! Just decision to strengthen my walk.

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Make 2014 the best year yet!

ImageYesterday I had the opportunity to speak at my church for women’s day.

The subject was “how much power do you give your yesterday?”

The message was for me just as much as it was for those who were there.

As we are but mere hours away from going into 2014, what baggage might you carry into 2014? What does your yesterday hold that may keep you from walking freely into the New Year?

Good or bad, your yesterday can keep you stuck and bound instead of being present in today.

Unfortunately there are some who become so traumatized by their yesterday that they can no longer function.

I’ve learned that just because you are freely going about your day to day activities, it doesn’t mean you are actually moving forward.

Ask yourself…

  • Does my yesterday keep me from moving forward and being happy?
  • Do I dwell too much on yesterday?
  • Am I moving forward or am I really stuck in the past?
  • Am I able to let go of what’s holding me back?
  • Did you answer yes to any of those?

Below are some thoughts to assist in your “letting go” process…

  • Good or bad, don’t allow your yesterday to take control of your today.
  • Turn your pain into power.
  • Forgive and Forget – Forget doesn’t mean to forget memories but it means to “let go of” and move forward.
  • Stop wallowing in yesterday; it’s time to move forward.
  • You can run and move forward so much faster when you are lighter.

It may be a daily struggle for you at times but trust me, you can let go and move on.

Get ready to take 2014 by storm. Get all you deserve. Go into 2014 with a new attitude, a new peace and plenty of joy and happiness. You deserve it!

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-14

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

Like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/NoMoreBandages

Follow us on WordPress, www.nomorebandages.wordpress.com

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It Spite of What it Looks Like

ImageIt’s been engrained in us that seeing is believing. If we can’t see it with our own eyes then we believe it less. We want corroborating evidence that something is factual and true. We trust what our eyes tell us and nothing more.

But as we grow in Christ we learn that there is a powerful spiritual vision that we must utilize. This spiritual vision encourages us and helps us to make it another day. If we only believed what we saw we would have given up a long time ago.

The term “in spite of” is used to say that “THE something bad occurring in your life will not strongly influence you.”  In spite of what you see, you know there is a greater plan at work here. In spite of what you know, you feel God’s presence and know he is right there with you. You believe and see that everything will be okay.

One of my favorite sayings between me and God is “Lord I thank you for using me in spite of me.” I don’t always make the right decisions but he uses me anyway. In spite of what I look like and where I fall short, I’m perfect in him. Therefore, I can actually look in the mirror and say I’m perfect, see it and mean it.

What’s unfortunate is there are people or things around us that can hinder our vision. They co-sign what we see instead of helping us see with our spiritual eyes.

So why is it so easy to only believe what we see?

Well basically because we see it. HA! Yes I know that’s very elementary but it’s the truth. We have been trusting our eyes this long so it’s hard to stop now.

How can you focus yourself to see what’s not seen?

Hebrews 11:1 says, “NOW faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.”

I’ve learned that sometimes you have to close your eyes in order to see.

Close them in prayer, meditation and worship. Then you begin to see clearly.

What can you do to see those things that we know we should see but can’t?

Focus on the bigger picture and not just the facts that are surrounding you.

Believe in the God who has everything in control.

Stand on the faith that God has given you. Even if it’s a mustard seed, that’s all you need. That small seed will move mountains.

Trust God’s word in your life. My absolute favorite scripture is Proverb 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  

Even when I can’t see the path I must trust that it is always there.

Look at this scripture below:

2 Corinthians 4:8-9, We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Even though you are going through different trials, you are not crushed or in despair. Why? Because we see with our spiritual vision that God is in control.

We see prosperity.

We see breakthrough.

We see victory.

Even if the walls are crumbling around us, we see God in the midst. I’m also learning to have that spiritual vision for my children as well. At times I see their choices and circumstance but I see God’s hand on them so I don’t worry as much. I see (spiritually) what God is doing so I rejoice instead of worrying.

We must not allow the optical illusions in our lives to become our reality.

  • God is an “in spite of” God.
  • We must work to see how he sees, accept how he accepts.

WHAT’S YOUR “IN SPITE OF” MOMENT?

What happened or is happening but you already see and know that God is/has worked it out?

My moment focuses on the past when I was a single mom with three boys. I was constantly told I would never find someone who would love me with three kids. I started to believe it, but all the while God was preparing me to meet my husband. He took my boys as his own and raised them. We’ve been married for 8 years and still going strong.

Comment below to share your “in spite of” moment. It just might encourage someone to put on their spiritual glasses. You’re blessed!

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

Like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/NoMoreBandages

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What’s Your Limit?

ImageAt time, life requires us to put up with things and situations that don’t sit right with us.

It ends up challenging our morals, feelings, and may even force us to make decisions we wouldn’t normally. Kids and young adults aren’t the only ones who deal with peer pressure.

For example, think about the little things that you may have to do for a job or business.  My position recently changed but I had been an assistant for over 25 years and I think of all the lies I had to tell on behalf of my boss because they didn’t want to talk or see someone. That may seem minor to some but if you try to live by a certain set of standards, it may make you think twice or rub you the wrong way.
I also began to wonder if I am held accountable for every lie I told just to keep my job.

Now think about something you may have done that was worse than just “doing your job.”

You may have done it because you felt like you didn’t have a choice. Maybe the crowd was doing it so you just went along with the group while struggling on the inside.

We all face moral dilemmas at one time or another.

But I believe once you compromise the small things in your life, bigger things will approach and challenge you to take on greater compromises.

What about what occurs around us? You hear disturbing stories about a woman being raped and the rapist’s friends were present during this awful event but said nothing to their friend.  I believe one may have struggled with it but felt more pressure to go with the crowd instead of stand up and speak out.

The Bible talks about the saints being the salt of the earth. We must change ourselves and encourage those around us.

I remember being with an ex-boyfriend and just doing things that were completely out of my character but I chose to do it because I didn’t want to lose him or be viewed as lame. There’s no reason to ever compromise or sacrifice yourself just to fit in or belong.

It’s time to find our moral compass again. It’s gotten buried under empty platitudes and silence. Let’s dig it up and point it in the right direction. That goes for our actions and those around us. I’m not saying be judgmental towards others, I’m just saying if it’s a friend or foe you can express your feelings in love. Then it’s up to them to do the right thing. Even if you can’t change the situation, at least you know you did all you could to effect change.   

Doing the right thing is not always easy but all we can do our your best. We have to stand out and be set apart from the crowd. We must be the one to set an example. You never know whose life may depend on it.

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

Like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/NoMoreBandages

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YES MAN!

Image“Probably some of the best things that have ever happened to you in life, happened because you said yes to something. Otherwise things just sort of stay the same.”  ― Danny Wallace, Yes Man (book)

I’ve always been a person who constantly stayed in her comfort zone. I’m a big homebody and could spend most of my days secluded as the wonderful introvert I am.

However, about a year and a half ago, I decided to say yes. Yes to just about every opportunity that presented itself to me. No matter how far out of my comfort zone it was, I said I was determined to have a life and to experience new things. I decided to cast fear aside and stepped out on faith.

Within that year I published my first book. (Previously, my book sat on a thumb drive for probably four years) I accepted speaking engagements, hosted my first No More Bandages! conference and started several other endeavors. Scared, nervous and all. I said yes and did it.

In December, I had a cousin email me that I hadn’t seen in probably 30 years. She emailed me to congratulate me on publishing my first book and suggested that we get together to catch up. Typically I would have immediately said no. Again, the introvert I am would have been nervous about carrying the conversation, looking stupid, etc. etc. But instead I said sure, why not. If anything, I would gain a friend. That one dinner with two of my cousins has opened countless doors. I found out how awesome they are, each working in their nonprofit organizations and they inspired me to do more with my business and my ministry.

I can’t even begin to explain to you all the doors that have been opened because of that one small word, YES.

You’d be surprised at how much more of life you can enjoy when you actually make a decision to live it.

How many of you saw Jim Carrey’s movie Yes Man? He was a man stuck in a rut watching life pass him by. One day a friend invited him to a self help seminar. The main premise of the seminar was to simply say yes, say yes to any and everything. Once he decided to accept that YES, things started happening to him. He ran out of gas, met a girl, helped a guy on the verge of suicide and even played matchmaker.

Once he started saying yes, he started living. He met friends, traveled, met a woman he loved and even got a mail order bride. Okay, I know the mail order bride was a bit much but you see where I’m going.

Until we say yes to life, the answer is an automatic no.

I realize our comfort zone is pretty comfortable but we only get one shot at this thing called life so we might as well live it. If you have the mindset that you want to wait until just the right time, just the right day and until you have just the right amount money, it will never come. You’ll be diluting yourself and when it’s too late you will find out that the “right time” came and went.

I continue to watch the doors open in my life. Now some things I said yes to didn’t meet up to my expectations, but at least I said yes and had the experience. I’m not saying that you should blindly say yes to every situation or opportunity that presents itself as he did in the movie.  I’m just saying be open to it. Before you quickly say no and dismiss it, think about it. Weigh the options. What’s the worse that could happen?

Life is a journey and it’s up to us to step out and take those steps. God places people and opportunities in our lives. But it’s up to us to move.

Don’t be a NO (wo)man, be a YES (wo)man and start living!

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

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…But God!

ImageGod is our infinite possibilities in a world of impossibilities.

I love those two little words, “but God.”

Those two  words cancel out every curse and every negative word or thought that was uttered about you or even through you.

Just think about all the doubt we endure in the course of a day.

What about, “you can’t possibly do that.”

How about, “you are not good enough.”

Or, “you will never get out of that.”

There is doubt all around us, but God is greater. He is greater than the doubt and definitely greater than our shortcomings.

I look back on my life and all that I’ve endured. People may wonder how I got to where I am today. They see all the things that were set up in front of me to make me fail. Things set to destroy my spirit and kill me. How on earth was I able to overcome.

How about the abuse at just four years old? Then the words come, but God.

What about the emotional abuse; the murderous words that were spoken into my life to break me. BUT GOD.

I think about the man who told me no man would ever want a woman with three kids. No man would ever want me because I’m ugly. BUT GOD.

I think about being told I could never raise a child on my own. BUT GOD.

I think about the degrees I never received. BUT GOD.

I think about all that was missing inside me. BUT GOD.

How I continue to fall short. BUT GOD.

You know what “but God” does? It cancels out every word or sentence before it. It terminates every curse that was spoken on your behalf and every demonic spirit that was sent to wage war against you.

Next time someone tries to tear you down or even doubt and unbelief set foot into your mind, remember those two little words that will move mountains and cast the devil away…BUT GOD.

BUT GOD is your ammunition against any and every thing that comes against you. God has given you this power so use it and watch doors open.

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

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Oh The Places You Will Go!

Image“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

In elementary school my son received Dr. Seuss’ book, “Oh the Places You Will Go!” as a gift from his teacher. I love what this book represents. Even though it’s a children’s book, it really makes a powerful statement. It lets the reader know they can go and be anything they set their mind to. It also lets them know that they will encounter all sorts of things, some even scary, but don’t give up.

I remember thinking constantly about wanting more and daydreaming about how much I wanted my life to change and how I just wanted a better tomorrow to show up right now. Even though I had a desire and a need, I wasn’t doing much to change it. Daydreaming was getting me nowhere.

I think at times we tend to get caught up in where we want to be that we lose focus on where we are today. By doing this we completely miss the fact that we are alive today and that we must use it wisely.

“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!”― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You Will Go!

Don’t you know that what you do and how you think today sets you up for your tomorrow?

Your attitude.
Your outlook.
Your thoughts.
Your choices.
Your mindset.
Your sacrifices.

All these items can play a positive or negative role in your life and how you proceed is key.

The accomplishments you desire are within reach but it’s all up to you. You can do anything you put your mind to and you can go anywhere your heart desires but it starts with what you do today.

Procrastination will hinder and keep you in the same place day after day.

Anything worth getting takes time and sacrifice. Begin to look at what needs to be done today so you have the tomorrow you want.

Most times we can’t blame others for our shortcomings or why we haven’t gotten to the point where we can say we “made it.” Take steps now to take your life into your own hands.

I’m a witness that once you start taking steps, each one will get easier. Some steps may be on faith but that’s okay because God is with you every step of the way.

Get busy and use today wisely. You’ll be glad you did.

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

If you desire to be around like minded individuals who are just trying to make it just like you,  join us at No More Bandages! women’s ministry. We meet the first Wednesday of each month, 6-7pm, Refuge Temple Church, 555 Moler St, Columbus, Oh 43207

We also have “Breakfast Chat” on the first Saturday of the month, 10-11:30 am, Franklinton Library, 1061 W. Town Street, Columbus, Oh 43222. Bring your breakfast with you and let’s chat.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

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It’s Time!

Daily OrganizerAs I flipped the page on my calendar from September to October, it just reminded me how fast time flies and how short life is. Where did this year go? Before I know it, I will wake up and it will be 2014.

Time is so fleeting yet we continue to procrastinate on the important things in our life. If there is something you need to do, take time to do it today. Clearly tomorrow is not promised. We make our lists and mark our calendars but some of those important items may end up getting pushed back farther and farther.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

This quote is true but God gives us assignments and it’s up to us to follow through.

I’ve been, so called, working on my book all year. In reality, most days it’s just been sitting on a thumb drive. I had a goal, a date on the calendar that it’s suppose to be complete and that date is almost here. Unfortunately, I’m barely half way there. I continue to have my to-do list, but I get caught up in other things or just tired and not feeling like it. And so it remains on a list with no line crossed through it.

I agree there are not always enough hours in the day but make time for those things that are important. Maybe you just want to spend more time with family or friends. Maybe you have a life changing project in the works but you haven’t started the process. Whatever it may be, don’t put it off any longer.

You will find great pleasure in the accomplishment of crossing it off the list or seeing the end result of your hard work manifest before your eyes.

I believe in you and know you can do it. And I will also take my own advice and get busy. Let’s accomplish what we set out to accomplish.

“My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” ― Charles Dickens

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

If you desire to be around like minded individuals who are just trying to make it just like you,  join us at No More Bandages! women’s ministry. We meet the first Wednesday of each month, 6-7pm, Refuge Temple Church, 555 Moler St, Columbus, Oh 43207

We also have “Breakfast Chat” on the first Saturday of the month, 10-11:30 am, Franklinton Library, 1061 W. Town Street, Columbus, Oh 43222. Bring your breakfast with you and let’s talk about today’s issues that you may be facing.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

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20 Things I’ve learned along the way

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As we know, age is never a factor with regard to wisdom. There are young and old alike with an abundance of wisdom. I suppose to some I haven’t lived that long, although my body feels older than my actual age. But that’s another subject.

Below are 20 things I’ve learned along the way. It’s not all inclusive but some that really resonated within my life over the years.

  1. Be yourself.
  2. Love is NEVER physically, mentally or verbally abusive. (Read 1 Corinthians 13 niv)
  3. Trust God
  4. Confidence is Beautiful
  5. I’m stronger than you think
  6. Even though I would rather not, I can do just fine by myself.
  7. Life is full of opportunities, but it’s up to us to seize the moment
  8. Do IT today. Tomorrow is not promised.
  9. Hindsight is 20/20 and there’s nothing you can do about it. Make your mistakes and learn from them.
  10. In my lowest moments, I am never alone.
  11. Live life to the fullest. Reach for the highest heights.
  12. No one will ever be as passionate about my dreams as I am, so don’t take it personal.
  13. I can do anything I set my mind to. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
  14. There IS better and I DESERVE better. Don’t stay somewhere or with someone that makes you unhappy.
  15. God will bless me in spite of me.
  16. Prayer really does change things.
  17. Being alone is different than being lonely. The latter can lead you down the wrong road.
  18. Never give another person power over you.
  19. I am in charge of my destiny.
  20. Trust God – I said this one twice because it took me a few times to actually get it.

Feel free to comment and share those things you’ve learned. You never know, you just might help someone.

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